SpaceX launches 1st space mission with only civilians on board

Lots of money, passion for the unknown and a spirit of adventure are the ingredients for “ordinary” people to pursue space travel in Earth’s orbit. Recalling the period of great navigations when the sea was the infinite unknown, SpaceX, the company of billionaire Elon Musk, offers a journey into the unknown for the first time with four people who are not astronauts.

SpaceX’s investment move is to provoke space tourism with select customers, given that not just anyone can afford a trip through Earth’s orbit. Recently, another billionaire, Jeff Bezos, toured a spaceship owned by his company Blue Origin, but it’s nowhere near the proportion of SpaceX’s onslaught.

Scheduled to take place this Wednesday (15/09), at 20:00 (21:00 in Brazil), the spacecraft will reach Earth’s orbit and will circle the planet every 90 minutes, with an approximate speed of 27,358 km/h. That is, 22 times more than the speed of sound.

Therefore, the height of 575 kilometers is estimated. This means that space visitors will be above the International Space Station – ISS and even the Hubble Space Telescope – HST launched by NASA in 1990. The protagonist who paid for the space trip was the billionaire Jared Isaacman, who is only 38, who is co-founder and CEO of giant Shift4 Payments.

The company was created by the young man when he was just 16 years old. The magnate will travel alongside three guests, carefully chosen to identify the expectations represented in the trip. Committed to humanitarian causes, he intends to donate US$ 100 million to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is located in Memphis, USA.

The hospital specializes in treating cancer for children. In fact, one of the passengers in this adventure is volunteer doctor Hayley Arceneaux, 29, who beat bone cancer in childhood and wears a prosthesis. The passenger represents what Jared calls the “hope” representative.

The second crew slot is for Chris Sembroski (42 years old) and is called the “generosity” representative. He is a former US Air Force veteran and is active in the aviation industry. The last crew member, called “prosperity”, is science teacher Sian Proctor, who is 51 years old and who tried to be one of NASA’s astronauts, but was unsuccessful.

Thus, the planet sends four crew members into space, whose mission is to spend three days circling the globe. The launch will take place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the same location where the Apollo 11 mission launched on July 20, 1969, in the state of Florida.

Difference between Jeff Bezos’ journey and Elon Musk’s SpaceX

The first big difference lies in the fact that Jeff Bezos’ voyage was suborbital, that is, it did not reach Earth’s orbit. Likewise, the period that the capsule remained in the air was only 10 minutes. In the case of Space X and its trip scheduled for this Wednesday, the process is more complex.

It will arrive in orbit and will circle the planet for three days. It will be the first time that a crew made up of people who are not professional astronauts will make the trip. However, don’t be fooled by amateurism too much, because Jared Isaacman is an astronaut by his own training and everyone has gone through intense training since the trip was announced.